The Obama administration has reached a deal on a $773 million environmental trust, the largest of its kind in U.S. history, to clean up dozens of former General Motors sites spread over 14 states, officials said Wednesday.
The funds will target automotive sites containing hazardous waste that were left shuttered by the auto giant’s bankruptcy last year. About half of the 89 sites covered by the trust are in Michigan and others are in Indiana, New York and Ohio.
The trust fund, which was proposed in May, was filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York and is expected to receive final approval next year. The deal involves the government, Motors Liquidation Co., which represents former GM assets that were not placed in the new auto company, 14 states and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York.
“This trust – the largest environmental trust in our history – provides support for aggressive environmental cleanups at these sites, which will create jobs today and benefit the environment and human health over the long term,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
General Motors received $50 billion in government aid to get through its bankruptcy. GM is 61 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers and planning an initial public offering that will allow the government to begin reducing its stake.
Vacant properties, facilities and offices left barren by GM’s bankruptcy will be razed or rehabilitated under the plan. The funds will come from more than $1 billion provided by the Treasury Department to wind down the “bad” assets of General Motors set aside in the bankruptcy.
The plan includes $431 million for states to clean up former GM properties and $262 million for administrative costs.
“Today marks another important step in Michigan’s economic recovery,” said Governor Jennifer Granholm.
“Cleaning up these former GM sites will allow new companies a greater opportunity to invest in Michigan and create jobs. I commend the Obama administration and Michigan’s economic development team for their work to bring this process to a close, and urge that the court proceedings move as quickly as possible,” she said.
Michigan will receive funding to address cleanup in:
o Bay City – $3.5 million for one site
o Burton – $2.4 million for two sites
o Detroit – $183,000 for three sites
o Flint – $42.4 million for 9 sites, including just under $33 million for cleanup at Buick City
o Grand Blanc – $528,000 for one site
o Grand Rapids – $3.75 million for one site
o Lansing – $18.6 million for four sites
o Livonia – $8.5 million for three sites
o Pontiac – $13.9 million for 17 sites
o Romulus – $276,000 for one site
o Saginaw – $17.8 million for five sites
o Van Buren – $3.2 million for two sites
o Ypsilanti – $43.5 million for four sites, including $35.7 million for cleanup at Willow Run
Michigan will receive the largest share, at $158.7 million, followed by New York ($153.8 million), Ohio ($39.4 million) and Indiana ($25.2 million). The other states participating in the settlement include: Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The funding will be overseen by Elliot Laws, a former EPA assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response during the Clinton administration.
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)